Muslims, Christians, and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue

By Jane Idleman Smith | Go to book overview

Preface

The following text is the result of many years of engagement in Christian-Muslim dialogue at the local and national levels. On the Christian side, it represents conversations that have taken place in the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, local ecumenical councils, and churches and denominations. On the Muslim side, it is the product of many personal conversations with Muslim students and friends, and of working with Muslim councils and organizations in a number of different venues in the United States. It also reflects the ongoing mission of Hartford Seminary, at which I teach, to study and reflect on dialogue and to bring together Muslims and Christians for conversation and engagement.

Much of the information conveyed here, therefore, is the result of personal experience. Many Muslim and Christian friends and colleagues have talked with me about their participation in the dialogue, and have shared their reflections on its strengths and weaknesses. I have tried to portray these experiences and opinions as accurately as possible, quoting materials that have appeared in written form and making general reference without specific notation to those things that have been said, or written, to me in person.

As dialogue itself is an experience of mutual cooperation and support, so this book would not have been possible without the help of all of the persons whose dedication to the importance of Christian-Muslim engagement is, I hope, evident in the following pages. My own involvement in dialogue has continued over many

-v-

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Muslims, Christians, and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1- Encountering Each Other 3
  • 2- The Legacy of Engagement 23
  • 3- Islam - A Truly American Religion? 41
  • 4- Models of Christian-Muslim Dialogue in America 63
  • 5- When Dialogue Goes Wrong 83
  • 6- The Pluralistic Imperative - Christian Perspectives 101
  • 7- The Pluralist Imperative - Muslim Perspectives 121
  • 8- New Directions in Dialogue 141
  • Notes 161
  • Bibliography 173
  • Index 179
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